Mercury Prize 2018

We found out a few weeks ago who was in the running for this year’s Mercury Prize – in case you weren’t fully paying attention, here’s that list again:

  • Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  • Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
  • Everything is Recorded – Everything is Recorded
  • Florence + The Machine – High as Hope
  • Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
  • King Krule – The Ooz
  • Lily Allen – No Shame
  • Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?
  • Novelist – Novelist Guy
  • Sons of Kemet – Your Queen is a Reptile
  • Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life

Well, on 20th September, the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith hosted this year’s ceremony, where the winner was revealed to be Wolf Alice.

While I don’t think the Mercury Prize is technically ever particularly bad for anybody’s career, it seems to be a little variable in terms of the success it provides (although I’m sure the £25,000 comes in handy). The Official Charts website had an interesting analysis of past winners, which reveals just how commercially unsuccessful some of the winners have been, particularly in recent years (last year’s winner Sampha peaked high, but is one of the worst selling of the lot). The Guardian article includes some nice analysis of the sales patterns for this year’s ceremony.

It’s also worth taking a moment to browse the previous nominees in one big list, which for some reason is an analysis I’ve never got around to doing. Turns out the panel adore Radiohead, but they have never quite got around to letting them win. PJ Harvey, of course, is somewhat surprisingly their favourite artist, having won twice and with two more nominations to her name. Impressive, given that only just over 300 albums have ever been nominated – maybe white rock is just a lot more accomplished than other forms.

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